5th Night of Hanukkah / Chanukah... 2009

On the old site, I used to do something to celebrate Hanukkah (Channukah, חנוכה). Last year, I revived the tradition by presenting 8 days of Mathieu gifts for the 8 days of the holiday. This year, I thought I'd pick a key part of the holiday (a tradition, a symbol, something of historical significance) to share... and connect it in some way to Mathieu.

So, with that said... I present to you gift number 5:

Latkes may be one of the greatest culinary inventions of all time. Fried potatoes. Proof of God!

Here is my go-to recipe for latkes. They aren't bad, but I still can't make them as good an my neighbor.
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled (Yukon gold works well)
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup oil for frying
Grate the potatoes. Add grated potatoes to a bowl of ice cold water. Soak potatoes for at least 2 minutes, then drain. Wring out as much water as you can (tip: spread the potatoes AND the onion on a towel, roll up the towel and t.

Put the potato/onion mixture to a bowl and add the egg and salt.Toss until well mixed

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pan until hot (but not smoking). Add about 2 tablespoons of the to skillet and flatten out gently with the spoon (should be about a 3 inche round) . Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes each side (until lightly brown). Remove from the pan and drain the extra oil off by placing on a paper towel. Keep warm in the oven (set to low heat, about 250).

Serve with sides of sour cream and applesauce.

As for a Mathieu connection... well, ok, I'm stretching here. A lot. Did you know that Prince Edward Island is known for growing a lot of potatoes?* I didn't until Brad Richard, proud PEI native, revealed such in a radio interview. I also learned from B-Rad that people in Canada refer to PEIers as "spuds" (it is in part 2, at about the 19:45 minute mark).** So... how many times has Mathieu played the most famous hockey playing spud of today?

Four times, with Mathieu having the slight advantage of 2 wins to B-Rad's 1 (and there was a tie in there, when ties could still happen):***

3/8/2004: Tampa Bay @ Detroit, 1-1
12/17/2005: Detroit @ Tampa Bay, 6-3
3/19/2008: Dallas @ Anaheim, 1-2

1/27/2009: Dallas @ Atlanta, 2-0

But B-Rad has 4 wins to Mathieu's 3 in the 2007-2008 playoffs.

*Did you know that despite being TINY (just over 2,000 square miles), PEI produces 30% of the potatoes grown in all of Canada? I looked that up. I didn't learn that from B-Rad. But I would have been most impressed if he had busted out stats like that.

**This post is about Mathieu, but really, that interview is awesome. About 16 minutes on, when they go over his Wikipedia page, is pure gold.

***I originally looked this up last year when they played each other in Atlanta. I only had to add the score from that game, because in the 2 times their teams have played each other since, one or the other has been out of the game.

An aside: For those who are interested, here is a neat "what you need to know about Hanukkah" story from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: Spinning Tales: A Hanukkah Primer. And don't laugh at the graphic. That was the first animated gif I ever made, back in 1997 or so (using Claris Works clip art and a semi-legal copy of Photoshop). It was hot stuff at the time. =) And special thanks to Spencer for his advice and Hebrew spellings of things.

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